NATIONAL football team, Taifa Stars Head Coach Etienne Ndayiragije expects to see much from his skipper Mbwana Samatta, who is now playing in the English Premier League (EPL) as Aston Villa striker.
Samatta, who is the first Tanzanian to trade in the EPL, has already scored one goal and he is set to make another big history when his side play against Manchester City in the finals of the Carabao Cup on March 1st.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam on Monday, Ndayiragije commended Samatta for making what he claimed to be big achievement in his football career, saying he is going to transform a lot.
“He has managed to get a good challenge which will make him the best because when you move from a low standard to upper level, you definitely grow and become better due to new challenges you are exposed to,” he said.
He added that when Samatta was still playing in the Belgium league, he excelled a lot to the extent that he was once the league’s top goal scorer, a development he said gives him (Samatta) assurance to do better in EPL.
“When you get a chance to work at a certain place, do not feel contented but always be eager to look for challenges somewhere else because it will help you learn new things,” Ndayiragije noted.
Again, the coach insisted that he prays for Simon Msuva to jump into another competitive league, where he will be able to get new challenges and scale up his professional career.
Talking about the team’s technical bench, Ndayiragije said he is lucky to have members who understand football and all have something essential to offer to the team.
“To have Selemani Matola and Juma Mgunda is an added advantage for me because these guys know well about Tanzania players and together, we do a recommendable job for the sake of uplifting the national team,” he said.
He continued: “Sometimes, when I have something to communicate to players, I use Matola to send the message because he knows how the best to inform them (players).”
Moreover, the Burundian coach lauded the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) for putting much effort towards youth development programmes, an area he said is very important for the growth of football in the country.
“In terms of youth development, I can say Tanzania is the best. Last month (January), I went to Turkey with the U-16 team for a special tournament and guess what! I trained the team four days before the trip but after the competition, we emerged the best among many European teams. So, for the case of investing in youths, TFF is doing very well,” he said.
Ndayiragije encouraged football coaches to continue taking up lessons related to their field, saying football keeps on changing day by day.
“There are many ways how a coach can access basic skills needed for them to do well in this industry. For example, I do listen a lot to comments made by coaches after the match on DStv and other channels. They talk about many things which are helpful for coaches,” said he.